Poster Power

A pull-out poster of Liver­pool’s Sene­galese star Sa­dio Mane.

Kick Off - - INSIDE -

looked an al­most cer­tainty, but the re­silient Bloem­fontein out­fit clawed their way back into the con­test, net­ting two goals in the last fif­teen min­utes to earn a hard-earned point as Sam picked up his sec­ond Man-ofthe-Match award in a row. “I played well in all the matches so far, but none of them at the level I want,” the mod­est player says. “But as the sea­son goes on, things will get bet­ter and my en­gine will warm up be­cause I’m still a lit­tle ner­vous. In fact, in the match against Pi­rates I was re­ally ner­vous, but when I scored that goal, the pres­sure wore off. It was do-or-die for me – that was the day I had been wait­ing for all my life. “Against Chiefs it was dif­fi­cult be­cause it was away from home and it was the first time we con­ceded this sea­son. That was our best game as we showed char­ac­ter. The coach told us at half-time that we could still win the game, and we had chances to do so. We be­lieved him be­cause he is some­one who al­ways pushes you to be­lieve you can do bet­ter. Had that match gone on a lit­tle bit longer, we would have earned an even bet­ter re­sult.” With the new sea­son still in its early stages, it will be pre­ma­ture to talk about Sam as a fu­ture Bafana Bafana prospect. Yet the idea of Celtic pick­ing up some sort of sil­ver­ware this sea­son un­der Kom­phela is not far-fetched, ac­cord­ing to Sam. “Our pre-sea­son was great – the re­sults we are get­ting now prove that,” he says. “There were dif­fi­cult mo­ments, but we had to carry on be­cause the coach was pre­pared to work with us. Dur­ing the off-sea­son there were so many sto­ries that Celtic could be sold, but coach Steve and his tech­ni­cal team played a huge role in sup­port­ing us and telling us to fo­cus on our job and not other things. He was en­cour­ag­ing us all the way – yes it was dif­fi­cult, but we saw it as a test that we had to pass. “I know that we can’t talk about win­ning the league right now, but that is one of the things I wish could hap­pen. Ev­ery­one wants to win the league and we also want to win it.”

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